European Journal Of Immunology
IL-4 is critical for differentiation of Th2 cells and antibody isotype switching, but our work demonstrated that it is produced in the peripheral lymph node (LN) under both Type 2, and Type 1 conditions, raising the possibility of other functions. We found that IL-4 is vital for proper positioning of hematopoietic and stromal cells in steady state, and the lack of IL-4 or IL-4R correlates with disarrangement of both follicular dendritic cells and CD31+ endothelial cells. We observed a marked disorganization of B cells in these mice, suggesting that the lymphocyte-stromal cell axis is maintained by the IL-4 signaling pathway. This study showed that absence of IL-4 correlates with significant down-regulation of Lymphotoxin alpha (LT) and Lymphotoxin beta (LT), critical lymphokines for the development and maintenance of lymphoid organs. Moreover, immunization of IL-4 deficient mice with Type 2 antigens failed to induce lymphotoxin production, lymph node re-organization, or germinal center formation, while this process is IL-4 independent following Type 1 immunization. Additionally, we found that Type 1 antigen mediated lymph node re-organization is dependent on IFN- in the absence of IL-4. Our findings reveal a role of IL-4 in the maintenance of peripheral lymphoid organ microenvironments during homeostasis and antigenic challenge. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.